Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Konyot Triumphs In First Half Of WEG Selection Trials

August 8, Gladstone, N.J.

After two of four classes in the U.S. Dressage Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Tina Konyot can feel confident that she’s done everything she could so far to make a place for herself on the team with Calecto V.

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August 8, Gladstone, N.J.

After two of four classes in the U.S. Dressage Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Tina Konyot can feel confident that she’s done everything she could so far to make a place for herself on the team with Calecto V.

Konyot, North Stonington, Conn., placed first of 14 horses in the Grand Prix Special (72.37%), just as she did the yesterday in the Grand Prix. In fact, the top three didn’t change at all from the first Grand Prix with Konyot leading over Katherine Bateson-Chandler on Nartan (71.87%) and Todd Flettrich on Otto (69.91%).

Despite the top three placings remaining the same, scores were lower in the more difficult Special. Calecto, a 12-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Come Back II—Bahera), jigged during the extended walk and didn’t quite come to a final halt, as well as encountering some bobbles in the tempi changes.

“He wasn’t at his best,” said Konyot. “He gives me everything he possibly can right from the start. He felt fantastic in the warm-up, very even and wonderful, but we had some inconsistencies in our test, some little bobbles here and there. As we discussed yesterday, I’ve been back six days off of a major tour [in Europe.] Just the flight alone takes a lot out of you.”

Konyot plans to give Calecto the next one to two days off, and then she’ll hack him before putting him back to work. “I’ll put Calecto on a longe line and just let him roam, roll and play. He likes to roll about 50 times,” said Konyot. “He’s going to have a little break because I have to do that for my animal.”

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The next test in the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Grand Prix Championship takes place on Friday, Aug. 13.

Bateson-Chandler, 35, joked that although she’s breathing more easily today, she’ll have stopped breathing again by tomorrow, despite two second-placed finishes in a row on Nartan, the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Jazz—Tanja) gelding that Jane Clark purchased just four months ago in May from Jeannette Haazen of the Netherlands.

“For us being such a new combination, every day matters. Every day he gets to be a little bit more my horse,” said Bateson-Chandler. “That’s my second Special. The first one I didn’t ride very well, so I was extremely insecure coming into this test. This was the one I was dreading the most. The Grand Prix is the important test; that’s the team test, and that’s the one I’ve been putting almost all my effort into. I had to trust him and trust my own riding.

“I was a little conservative yesterday, and I wanted to show the judges that I could ride the horse active, up and forward the way they want to see it,” she continued. “I think I achieved that today. Even though I had mistakes, maybe because I was riding a little bit differently. Next time hopefully I’ll have it all.”

Four riders will represent the United States at the WEG in Lexington, Ky., this September. Steffen Peters, the top-ranked rider in the United States with Ravel, requested permission to skip the Selection Trials, and the U.S. Equestrian Federation selection criteria has room for one discretionary choice. Therefore, the top three finishers from the National Grand Prix Championship will fill out the rest of the team.

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Although Flettrich has finished third two days in a row, the scores are still very close. Each Grand Prix test counts 30 percent toward the final score, the Special counts 25 percent and the freestyle counts for 15 percent.

Full results on www.foxvillage.com.

Observations and Tidbits

–       Sue Jaccoma withdrew partway through her test on Wadamur. The 10-year-old Hanoverian (Weltmeyer—Sarina) backed up in the piaffe during the Grand Prix test and did the same thing in the Special, behavior not typical for him. He appeared above the bit for much of the test, and Jaccoma decided he wasn’t feeling right and retired.

–       Elisabeth Austin withdrew Olivier from the Grand Prix Special. The 26-year-old has been battling a case of scratches on the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Idocus—Rowillie) stallion, and his legs became irritated again.

–       Although Jane Hannigan did finish the Grand Prix Special with Maksymilian, she’s opted to take him home rather than continue in the Grand Prix Championship.  “He usually comes in here and fires up, but he didn’t. He’s not lame, he’s just not right,” she said. “Why didn’t he spook? He was flat as a pancake. He’s shown himself really well in high performance classes, so I’m going to look for a Pan Am rider or a young rider for him.”

Check out more stories on the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival Of Champions.

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